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50/50

Well, my RE gave us a 50/50 chance of this being a viable pregnancy. I am fairly certain those odds were totally made up, so there’s that.

Having done this initial ultrasound now twice before, I kind of knew what to look for. We were in with the ultrasound tech (who I’ve had for almost all of my ultrasounds since we started fertility treatments in 2014) first, and then saw my RE. Right off the bat I was relieved because I could tell that the sac was in the uterus. They also saw a yolk sac, but no fetal pole yet. My RE said that the sac size and structures look like a normal pregnancy at about “5 and a half weeks.” According to my calculations, I thought I was 6 weeks today, though my RE had me at 5 weeks 6 days. There was no heartbeat (which I guess makes sense with no fetal pole).

My RE said that it’s possible that the embryo took a couple of days before implanting, which would account for the lower HCG numbers as well as today’s ultrasound results. Or, this is another nonviable embryo. She said they want to have me back in 11-14 days and if at that point there is no heartbeat or it’s fallen even further behind, we’ll stop meds and assumedly talk about ending the pregnancy.

I’m trying to stay hopeful. It seems totally feasible that the frozen embryo just took it’s time implanting. It’s going to be a very long 2 weeks. I’m scheduled to go back for another ultrasound on July 5.

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Betas 3 and 4

I haven’t had much time to write. Thursday night we ended up in the ER (then admitted) because Riley had some trouble breathing (breathing fast, neck and sternum retracting, grunting on the exhale, a little wheezing) in the setting of a virus. She’s doing much better and we were discharged after less than 24 hours, which is awesome. But we’ve been a little under water over here.

Anyway, quick update re my ever perplexing betas.

Recap/update:

  • 11dp5dt (16dpo) – 78
  • 13dp5dt (18dpo) – 134
  • 15dp5dt (20dpo) – 239
  • 17dp5dt (22dpo) – 471

Those doubling times are slowish, but all technically within normal limits (less than 72 hrs), and have increased slightly each time (went from 61.5 hrs to 57.5 hrs to 50 hrs). That said, they’re all totally lower than what is normally expected.

Today, my nurse said that everything is still within normal but that they’re a little concerned about the lower numbers. The plan is for another blood test Tuesday, then ultrasound on Thursday or Friday.

My only “symptoms” thus far are sore boobs (obvi because progesterone to the max) and a decreased appetite. The appetite thing is significant enough to feel like a real symptom. I’ll keep updating here as the week progresses. For now, I’m going to play Mr. Potato Head with my kid. Happy Sunday 🙂

“Positive”

The spotting and light bleeding I posted about on Saturday turned into a medium flow Sunday and a very heavy flow today. I went in for my beta as planned and got a call today from the nurse congratulating me on my pregnancy. I honestly don’t even remember the number – it was 107 or 127 or 157? Technically positive (though at this time in my pregnancy with Riley my numbers were in the 300s, and my pregnancy tests with her were much lighter than this weekend’s). I was pretty pissed that they didn’t read the note from the on call RE this weekend to at least note my bleeding. I had to rehash it, and confirm that the amount of bleeding I was experiencing was most likely not consistent with a viable pregnancy. Things being as they are, I apparently have to keep taking the Crinone at least through Wednesday (not that it’s staying in there long enough to absorb …), and will get a repeat beta on Wednesday to see how the numbers are trending. Once I get back to 0, they can submit to insurance for a frozen transfer. Most likely, I’m looking at a transfer in early May if all goes to plan.

Today was the Monday of all Mondays. My daughter started a new daycare (her old one asked us to leave because they weren’t comfortable with her allergies), which was nerve wracking. Also, our beloved 10 year old dog had surgery to remove a very large fatty deposit that was starting to affect her gait, which resulted in them finding and biopsy-ing a lump under her tongue (more uncertainty). She’s doing ok tonight but occasionally starts whining and it’s very sad to hear. Also, Riley has been sick and we took her to the pedi after daycare only to find out she has an ear infection. Em and I both woke up with sore throats, probably with whatever virus Riley has/had. Add to all of that my insanely heavy period/miscarriage … Just in general … an epic Monday.

For now, I had a lovely glass of wine tonight and am partaking in a little retail therapy. I know this post is super blah negative – I’ll pick myself back up tomorrow but tonight I’m wallowing.

Well damn

9 weeks

Oops … I forgot to do my Friday update. And by “forgot” I of course mean “decided to sleep instead.”

I’m super happy to report that we had our second ultrasound last week and it went really well. The baby is still growing on schedule, and its little heart was beating 176 beats per minute! We even got to see him/her wiggling their little arms and legs. It was super cool and, as each passing blood test/ultrasound has done, it boosted my confidence in the fact that I’m actually pregnant. I still spend a lot of time worrying and anxious, but I think it’s getting a little easier to believe/trust.

FullSizeRender

The circular thing on the right is the yolk sac. The rest is the little one, with its head on the right. You can kind of see its little limbs even!

It’s crazy how much it changed in just 2 weeks. It looks much more human now.

How far along? 9 weeks 3 days

Baby is the size of: a medium green olive? (I don’t eat olives so this helps me not at all) a southern pecan? (also allergic to nuts so … again … not very helpful)

Total weight gain/loss: Still sitting pretty at 0

Maternity clothes: Permanently in the land of stretchy waistbands because holy comfort, Batman. When I say permanently, I mean that I started before I got pregnant and never plan to stop.

Coming out of the baby closet status: So I have both good and bad “coming out” stories this week. I say I start with the bad and graduate to the good – do you agree?

  1. (This is probably going to be an unnecessarily long story … #sorrynotsorry) I am a speech-language pathologist at a Children’s Hospital. Most of my job is evaluations, and we have a waiting list that is about 6 months long. This means that my schedule books out around 6 months most of the time. This is annoying because I have to plan vacations in mega-advance. It is also annoying because, right at this moment, I am already booked through the end of October. We are down 1.5 clinicians and the rest of us have had to absorb those caseloads which (obviously) make ours bigger. Anyway, I did NOT want to have to reveal my pregnancy at work yet, but I also did not want to be responsible for having to call and reschedule a billion patients once they started booking into November. So last week, I told our admin that I’m pregnant and had her block my schedule from the beginning of November (I want to have a couple of weeks of flexibility before I leave) through mid-February. Of course, this immediately caused a ruckus with the front desk ladies (who may as well have the additional title of “gossip mongers”) when one of my patients tried to schedule a follow up, so I ended up feeling forced to tell one of them as well. I’m basically assuming that the front desk ladies have, at this point, talked amongst themselves and I am no longer having an easy time making eye contact with them. The thing that really bums me out is that I didn’t feel at all in control of the information. And I like to be in control. But I’m going to have a child soon so I should probably just let it go, eh? Sigh.
  2. In the good news column, however … we told my siblings yesterday! I am the oldest of 4 and the whole family tries to video chat about twice a month or so on Sundays. I’ve been really looking forward to telling the sibs but wanted to wait until after the most recent ultrasound, so I decided our “Sunday Funday” Google Hangout would be a great time. It was a bitch and a half to schedule the hangout because my parents are in San Fransisco this weekend (3 hours earlier in terms of time zones) and my youngest sister is currently living in Prague for a few months for work (6 hours later). It somehow all worked out though, and they are all really excited. My brother cried, which was very sweet, and both of my sisters did a lot of squealing and jumping. They’re all going to be excellent aunts and uncles, and this is the first grand baby, so there were lots of positive vibes and excitement.

Have you started to show yet? Just a bloat baby. But no worries, dress pant yoga pants to the rescue 🙂

Sleep: I. Am. So. Tired. All. The. Time. Still hitting the hay between 8:30 and 9pm, which is a little rough on my relationship with Em because I essentially come home from work, eat dinner (sort of – see things making me sick below), make her give me my progesterone shot, then fall asleep.

Best moment this week: The ultrasound was really great! It was awesome to see the little one wiggling around and watch its little heart beat like crazy. We also officially “graduated” from the Reproductive Endocrinologist to a regular old OB/GYN! My RE did some blood work to check on my hormone levels and was able to give me a weaning schedule for all of the fertility meds. I actually feel like I’m weaning sooner than most people I’ve read about?? My RE said that the placenta has taken over at least 80% at this point, and should be producing 100% of the hormones I need by week 10, so she was comfortable weaning right away. I weaned off of Estradiol within 3 days of the appointment (so was off it right around the 9 week mark), and I decreased my Progesterone to 1cc/night. I’ll be off the Progesterone entirely once I hit 10 weeks. They told me to stop the Aspirin (actually they didn’t mention it and I asked), but I didn’t. I don’t know why I didn’t listen to that particular advice but I just felt like stopping everything at once sounded scary and I’m a little concerned because my circulation has always been not the best (I’m that girl whose nose and fingers are always freezing). I’m going to call and ask about it this week, and express my concerns re: circulation. I just don’t want to invite trouble that may have been preventable – especially since most people I read about are staying on all of these drugs through the first trimester.

Miss Anything? Being able to stay awake and interact with my wife on weekdays (also sex. Because tired.)

Movement: nope

Food cravings: Not really. I am having LOTS of what I’d call “food apathy” – and the only thing that I’m really willing to eat during those moments seems to be soft pretzels with mustard. So maybe that? Though it doesn’t really feel like a craving per se.

Anything making you queasy or sick? I’ve been having very apathetic feelings towards all food, especially at lunch and dinner. Nothing sounds good to me except for soft pretzels. I try to have green smoothies with breakfast to load myself up with some nutrients, but even those are just not interesting to me right now. It’s not that I’m not hungry – and most of the time I will eventually settle on something to eat out of “not getting nauseous” necessity, but I just don’t want anything and sometimes the idea of eating makes me queasy.

Symptoms: The nausea has ramped up a bit this past week, but is still really mild compared to what I’ve heard from other people. It’s just kind of a queasy feeling that usually lasts from like 10am til whenever (sometimes just til after lunch, sometimes the rest of the day). It’s definitely worse when my stomach is empty. Also the fatigue is for serious. I guess this baby wants me to save up on sleep so I’m ready when (s)he comes out and never lets me sleep again. I’m also having some dry skin, and am currently slightly concerned that I may be developing a yeast infection (ugh).

Purchases: Nope.

Looking forward to: My first appointment at my OB’s office. The way my office works is that I will work with my OB as well as a midwife throughout the pregnancy. The midwives are all CNMs (certified nurse midwives – so they are registered nurses with additional midwife schooling and licensure), and will be my first point of contact for non-emergencies throughout the pregnancy. During my third trimester, I can choose who I want to deliver the baby (midwife vs. OB). All new patients meet with the midwife for the first appointment, and then with the OB 4 weeks later (and I’ll see the OB every 4 weeks throughout the pregnancy until things ramp up at the end I guess). So I have an appointment with the midwife on Thursday! I’ll be 9 weeks 6 days. I assume that they’ll try to hear the heartbeat via doppler – does that sound like a reasonable expectation? I have no idea what to expect. I presume that the focus will be going over my medical history and this pregnancy so far, medications, weight, etc. I was told to expect this to be about a half hour, and the appointments with the OB to be about 15 minutes each. I’m excited to get started down the “normal” pregnancy path and meet the midwife.

 

Beta #3

My final HCG numbers are in, and looking good! To review:

  • 3/7 (12dp5dt) – 306
  • 3/9 (14dp5dt) – 622
  • 3/11 (16dp5dt) – 1,828

My first 2 betas had a doubling time of 46.9 hours, and between the second two the doubling time sped up to 30.86 hours.

Is that weird that it sped up so much? Zero complaints on it rising higher than expected of course. Just curiosity.

I’m hopeful that this excellent number will erase some of my doubts while I wait a week and change for my first ultrasound.

In other news, I am 5 weeks pregnant today. Ah! No real symptoms. Boob pain comes and goes (and I absolutely do keep squeezing them throughout the day to ascertain how sore they are), there’s some gassiness going on, and I am generally going to sleep earlier and peeing more. Of course, if I wasn’t looking for those things none of them are significant / symptom-y enough to mean anything.

OH, so some fun (/sarcasm) things about my medication regimen … Aside from the fact that the progesterone is making me bloated and moody … I have a couple of new things to add to the “ugh” list:

  • My estrogen patch is all of a sudden irritating my skin. So now I have these weird, rectangular rashes on my upper ass/lower back that itch like hell. Great
  • (Side note: I asked about this today on the phone and they decided this a good time to tell me that they can go pretty much anywhere that isn’t bony – so I can stick them up higher on my belly or something if I want. I was only putting them on my lower back because I believed the choices to be either there or on my lower belly, and when I tried the belly my pants always screwed it up.)
  • Last night’s PIO shot graced my wife and I with the infamous geyser of blood upon withdrawal of the needle. I remember reading about someone else experiencing this recently and I can’t for the life of me recall who it was. So, whoever it was, I feel ya. Em was horrified of course. She was worried something went terribly wrong. The internet tells me that she probably passed through or nicked a vein on the way in (the nurse confirmed this theory today, BTW). So no big deal. But it was weird and also ended up hurting a lot more than usual. And, wouldn’t ya know, there was the illusive welt that everyone talks about but I had yet to experience.
  • All of my Estrace pills are breaking into bits on their own in the pill case. This is very annoying because the very last thing I want to do every morning and evening is tiny little puzzles so that I know I’m taking 2 whole pills worth of estrogen.
  • That was all but it just felt rift to have 5 bullets, so …

On a non-pregnancy-related note, my little sister (who has been living in Boston for the last 8 months) is moving to Prague this weekend and I’m super bummed to see her go. I grew up in the Cleveland, OH area, and moved to Boston for college 10+ years ago. I never really looked (or moved) back, despite having a pretty close relationship with my family. My parents are still in Ohio and 2 of my siblings live in Philly. My youngest sister finished college in Chicago a year ago and moved to Boston for a job, which is now moving her to Prague (how cool, right?!). As awesome as that is for her, it has been so great for me to have family near by for the last 8 months. I’ve never really had that since moving here, and it has been really special. I’m super sad to see her go, and I know that Em is too. She might be back this summer for a month or so but who knows. I’m looking forward to soaking up some little sister time tomorrow before we drive her to the airport and see her off. I hope that this wasn’t the last time we get to experience living in close proximity to my family. It’s really a joy and I’ve been thinking about how wonderful it is even more now that I’m pregnant (holy shit, I’m pregnant).

Happy Friday!

Things that make this feel real

So I’ve been having a hard time with this pregnancy-after-infertility thing. It is really hard to just happily accept that I’m pregnant without constantly looking over my shoulder for someone who is going to run up and shout “April fools!” or something awful like that.

BUT I am really working on it and, little by little, I’m actually starting to feel like this might be real. God I hope it stays real.

Things that have made me feel that feeling in the last couple of days:

  • Today’s beta showing a normal doubling time.
  • Telling my mom and dad via FaceTime last night (man, that was really awesome. They are so happy)
  • Telling our best friends, who made that same phone call to us only a week ago.
  • Thinking about experiencing each stage of pregnancy with my best friend. And maternity leave!
  • Talking about money and daycare and nursery things with Em, and freaking out a little but also feeling excited.
  • Having 2 colleagues announce their pregnancies this week and not feeling that awful sinking feeling that I’ve become accustomed to over the past 2 years, instead feeling excited for them and excited for me.

I’m still kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop, but those feelings are happening less frequently, and I’m spending a lot of time smiling to myself at my desk or in the car, just thinking about how, at least right this second, I am pregnant.

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